The new Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) launched by Novak Djokovic and Canadian Vasek Pospisil has seen more than 60 players sign up for the association. But the proposal has been met with opposition from several quarters.
Two of the biggest names in the world of tennis - Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer - who are also part of the ATP Player Council - had opposed the plan. Prior to the formal launch of the association, Nadal had made a statement on social media saying, "The world is living a difficult and complicated situation.
I personally believe these are times to be calm and work all of us together in the same direction. It is time for unity, not for separation. These are moments where big things can be achieved as long as the world of tennis is united.
We all, players, tournaments and governing bodies, have to work together. We have a bigger problem and separation and disunion is definitely not the solution." Federer had immediately re-tweeted Nadal's tweet and added his own comments on the same, “These are uncertain and challenging times, but I believe it’s critical for us to stand united as players, and as a sport, to pave the best way forward”.
Toni Nadal not in favour of the Djokovic-backed Players Association
Now, Rafa's uncle and former coach Toni Nadal has given his first views about the player's association, saying the tennis world needs to be united and questioned the cut-off of players eligible for the association.
According to the Espndeportes website, Toni Nadal says, "With this segregation, Nole seeks a better defence of the interests of tennis players, mainly economic. In this new association, the 500 best players in singles and the 200 in doubles would be defended.
It is an arbitrary number. Wouldn't it be better to defend them all? " Uncle Toni, who is a Tournament Director of the Mallorca event himself, also said that players and tournaments need to work together to help the sport grow.
"Now is not the time to provoke a schism. In addition, I notice a certain point of selfishness when some look only at their interests. I know how difficult it is to organize a tournament, I have been the director of the Mallorca tournament for a few years and I know the work that is done to promote tennis and the money a promoter loses.
Players must be aware of this difficulty and what the players and tournaments have to do is understand each other." After resigning as the coach of 19-time Grand Slam champ Rafael Nadal in 2017, Toni Nadal has been the Head coach at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Spain. (Quotes translated as per Google Translate)